looking to set up for off grid living.

2 Posts
Feb 11, 2012 06:20 pm
looking to set up for off grid living.

I would like to start setting up a cabin for off grid living and was wondering if there was anyone that could give some pointers.  I'm looking to this in the most inexpensive way possible and am willing to do just a little bit at a time, like even just getting a freezer and fridge powered for starters. Any recommendations on a good system setup for little money?
462 Posts
Feb 12, 2012 10:52 am
Re: looking to set up for off grid living.

shannon, first, where is the cabing located? eg. cold region,  warm region, woods , state, etc.

What type of exposure do you have? eg. good sun all day, large unobstructed area that gets sun "x" hours of sun a day.

How large is the cabin?

What future appliances are you planning on? Lighting needs?

 Is there potable water? Well with pump? Need for hot water?

Is there electricity there now? Is the cabin wired at all?

Do you need heating? Is there propane or natural gas?

Just a few questions to get a better idea of the situation and your needs in order to determine what would work best and what is necessary in order for you to make purchases today that may help you save money tomorrow.

« Last Edit: Feb 12, 2012 10:58 am by Tom Mayrand »
2 Posts
Feb 12, 2012 02:40 pm
Re: looking to set up for off grid living.

Well I plan on having it located in the SW Iowa to NW Missouri, still currently looking for the property.  Plan on trying to acquire an area that has both an open field and a good wooded area.  The light from the map I used is between 3.0 - 3.9 Solar Insolation Value.  Plan on the cabin being around 30' x 20' with a loft on each end.  Heat will be done with  a wood stove that will also function as a stove.  I would like to start with a refrigerator and freezer.  Would like to eventually include a clock radio, ceiling fan and possibly 3 lights after that once i have water to the cabin I plan on a washer and dryer.  Everything will be electric in the cabin.  As far as the well I haven't decided if I want it to be electric, hand or wind powered pump. Temps can get as high as 95F to a little over 100F with average of 50% to 95% humidity during summers.  Winters can get to be down below 0F during the winter.  The location will largely be determined for my needs as far as solar or wind power.
462 Posts
Feb 13, 2012 10:28 am
Re: looking to set up for off grid living.

Alley, just a few suggestions to get you thinking in the right direction:

loft on each end- plan on installing a grate in each floor of the lofts to promote air circulation and heat from being trapped

a wood stove - plan on it being centrally located to promote even heat flow and circulation. Think passive gain and storage.

refrigerator and freezer- plan on using through the wall application to use during winter times for free cooling and freezing. Think ice box.

ceiling fan - plan on having roof vent  or cupola, to remove hot summer air. Roof overhangs for summertime shading.

3 lights - plan on DC lighting to reduce power consumption

washer and dryer - think clothesline, inside and out for drying

electric, hand or wind powered pump - Think DC pump or motor in conjunction with elevated storage tank for pressure

Check out load calculators here at AltE or other solar sites to determine electrical loads and storage needed for the applances you plan to use.

« Last Edit: Feb 13, 2012 10:38 am by Tom Mayrand »

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